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Winter Meetings End With Manny Machado Still An Oriole

December 14, 2017
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The MLB Winter Meetings concluded Dec. 14, and the Baltimore Orioles will leave with All-Star third baseman Manny Machado on the team -- at least for the moment.
 
Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette said the team was continuing its discussions.
 
"We're still talking to other clubs about potential deals, and we'll follow up with them, probably a couple of them today and follow up with them over the weekend," Duquette said. "... We're going to leave here and then take a look at what our options are back in Baltimore, so don't expect us to be making a deal [Dec. 14].
 
"…We're going to do what we can to put together the best club that we can. We need to sort through the extent of that interest and see if a trade makes sense."
 
Duquette wouldn't comment on how many serious contenders there are for Machado.
 
"We have active discussions going with many clubs," Duquette said.
 
Duquette acknowledged there was also interest in relievers Brad Brach and Zach Britton, who, like Machado, can be free agents a year from now.
 
"Clubs are focusing on our pitching depth and the players that are going to be free agents," Duquette said. "So, we're listening."
 
Until the Winter Meetings, Duquette reiterated the Orioles intended to keep Machado in 2018, but he said there was a change.
 
"We're still going to try and have the most competitive team we can have," Duquette said. "We just felt it was prudent to see what the extent of the interest was in some of our players."
 
The Orioles added four pitchers to their 40-man roster, making one signing and adding three pitchers in the Rule 5 draft. They now have 38 players on the 40-man roster.
 
Duquette said the team agreed to terms on a major league contract with right-handed pitcher Michael Kelly from the San Diego Padres organization.
 
With plenty of room on the 40-man roster, the Orioles made three selections in the Rule 5 draft, taking left-handed pitcher Nestor Cortes from the New York Yankees, right-hander Pedro Arajuo from the Chicago Cubs and right-hander Jose Mesa from the Yankees.
 
Kelly, 25, was 10-4 with a 4.19 ERA in 28 games for San Diego's Double-A and Triple-A affiliates in San Antonio and El Paso.
 
Cortes, 23, was 7-4 with a 2.06 ERA in three levels of New York's minor league system. In Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, he didn't allow a home run in 48.1 innings.
 
Duquette said he hoped Cortes would compete for a starting job with the Orioles, while he thought Kelly could add to the team's minor league depth and help the team later in 2018.
 
Arajuo and Mesa, who is the son of former Orioles pitcher Jose Mesa, are less advanced than Kelly and Cortes.
 
Arajuo, 23, is 6-1 with a 1.76 ERA in 44 games in Class-A and one in Double-A last season, while Mesa was 5-1 with a 1.93 ERA in 29 games for Class-A Tampa and Double-A Trenton. His father pitched for the Orioles for four seasons.

Photo Credit: Kenya Allen/PressBox